Valley photographer helps rescue shelters one shoot at a time

Fresno, Calif. (KFSN) — Meet Max and Mia. The two non Bullys at Pitty Party Bully Rescue looking for their forever home. It may seem like a typical play date at the park… but that’s the team at Fur Real Life Photography getting them camera ready.

Behind the lens, you can find owner Val Woodward.

Woodward says, “They were allowed to sniff around, get comfortable. We do bring treats, so there’s that positive reinforcement for them immediately.”

The photographer works with private clients to capture memories with their pets but volunteers at rescues to help spotlight animals who may be too shy to put their best paws forward.

“Every dog ​​is different and unique, so we try to focus on that uniqueness so that we can capture that in our images,” Val said.

Woodward has donated her time and talents to a number of the Valley’s rescues, including Cat House on the Kings and Paw Squad 559.

Each successful shoot is thanks to her technique.

She says she uses, “Treats, noises, we’ve created a lot of different noises to get attention. We do have some dogs that feel really nervous, so we spend extra time making them feel comfortable first.”

Woodward adds, “We go at the dogs’ pace. I use a really fast shutter speed so we can capture those really quick in-between moments where they might pause a little bit.

The thoughtful approach to each photo shoot isn’t just to get the perfect shot. It’s to shine a light on the pet’s personality, bringing them one step closer to their forever home.

“We really want to showcase who that dog is. They’ve been through a lot of trauma most likely, some of these dogs have been dumped and basically been told that they’re worthless, so we really want them to know there is a wonderful dog personality beneath all of that,” Val said.

Those images are showcased in Woodward’s new book, Rugged to Rescued.

She says, “When you open that book, it’s not just beautiful pictures of dogs. Each one of those dogs has a story. The majority of those dogs were rescued by paw squad.”

Proceeds benefit local foster based rescue, Paw Squad 559.

To book a session or purchase a copy of the book visit the Fur Real Life Photography website.

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